I’m sure some people have been working on it for weeks already: their New Year’s list of resolutions. “2010 was (insert description here), but 2011 is going to be awesome! I’m going to do these specific things and I’ll be rockin’ the shiz-nit!” Well, I’m not among those masses—I don’t bother with resolutions.
I talked about this once at a Toastmasters meeting a couple years ago. I was just checking out the group, seeing if I was interested, but I opted to stick with the public speaking skillz I already had. Besides, they confirmed that I wasn’t doing too bad at the time.
During the last half of the meeting, they would pick people out of the group, ask each one a question and the person would have to talk for a minute or so. After four or five people, everyone would vote on who they thought did the best job. The person choosing speakers picked me by accident—normally, they don’t have guests speak, but she thought I looked familiar… (I opted not to mention anything about being on TV.) Still, I decided to give it a shot, so she asked me what my new year’s resolution was going to be.
I got up in front of the group and felt fine, no real nervousness, but I started rolling my sleeves up and kept doing it while I was talking, which might have cost me some votes. But aside from that, the essence of my little speech was what I said in the first paragraph: I don’t bother with resolutions.
My reasoning? I tend to be a bit pessimistic when it comes to stuff like that. “I’m going to work out more.” “I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to start doing [blank].” But what happens if you mess up? If you miss a workout or eat a really heavy meal, you start to feel guilty. If trying to keep that resolution and failing makes you feel guilty, why bother making it in the first place? Deciding “I’m going to lose 20 pounds!” and not losing weight after a month… time for large quantities of comfort food that instantly counteract whatever progress you might have made through the remainder of the year.
There was more since I spoke for over a minute, but I filled the required amount of time and sounded like I knew what I was talking about. If I remember right, I received some sympathy from people who weren’t as pessimistic about resolutions and those might have been the people who gave me their votes. The winner probably got a trinket of some sort—remember, this was a couple years ago and some details are a little fuzzy—but just hearing that some people in the group thought I did the best… that was pretty cool, too.
Some of you reading this may be thinking, “Wow, what a great story… hey, wait a sec. You resolved to write a blog entry every day in December and you’re almost done! Hypocrite!” Oh yeah?! Well… yeah. I got nothin’. Maybe it’s because I set the bar pretty low for myself:
“Write something—anything—from the 1st through the 31st and create a warm, fuzzy feeling inside of myself that doesn’t entail buying one cup of something that costs nine bucks at Starbucks.
“Whether the entries will be of good quality… I’ve written good and bad before, so I’ll let you be the judge.”
Piece o’ cake. Some were a couple paragraphs I finished 15 minutes before midnight, some were epic short stories. Okay, maybe just regular short stories. But the point is that while I had my daily deadline, I didn’t sweat the other details. If the blog entry was good, yay for me. If it sucked… well, I finished it anyway.
That said, tomorrow is the last day of December and the last day of PerBloWriMo. The entry may be short again—I’m going to a friend’s house for New Year’s Eve and the pre-party starts at noon—but I’ll finish the job I started. Okay, fine, that might be the completion of a resolution, but it was only a month-long deal. Still, small victories are victories nonetheless.
Starting in 2011, writing every day will probably be out the window, but I don’t want to subject people to a lot of suckage if I can help it. I’ll put more time into writing blog entries and hopefully even write them as opposed to just thinking about what to write. Wait… that’s not a resolution, is it? It is? Shit. Well, I might as well go shopping for large quantities of comfort food now.